Florida stocks cyanide antidote

Published 30 May 2008

Minute quantities of cyanide in smoke contribute to the death from smoke inhalation of 10,000 civilian and firefighter in the United States each year; Florida emergency services decide that emergency units will now be equipped with cyanide antidote

Florida is not taking any chances with cyanide. Dey, L.P. announced that the Florida Department of Health, Office of Emergency Operations, will stock Cyanokit 5g (hydroxocobalamin for injection) ANTIDOTE for cyanide poisoning in the state’s emergency medical service (EMS) and fire vehicles through a federal grant from DHS. The company says that since Cyanokit is the only FDA-approved treatment that can be given to victims of suspected cyanide poisoning, it provides emergency first-responders with a critical care medication to treat patients immediately at the scene of a fire or other accident as well as in a hospital emergency room. Studies have shown that cyanide, a common but often unrecognized toxic chemical found in fire smoke, may play a significant role in causing the deaths of smoke inhalation victims. In the United States, smoke inhalation is responsible for up to 10,000 civilian and firefighter deaths and more than 20,000 injuries annually. “It is critical that we do whatever we can to enhance the safety of Florida’s first response personnel and the victims they care for in emergencies involving potential exposure to cyanide,” said Dr. Joe Nelson, state EMS medical director. “Because cyanide poisoning acts very quickly, the immediate quick response capability that Cyanokit provides at the scene of an emergency will be critical in treating known or suspected victims of cyanide poisoning. Inclusion of Cyanokit in our EMS and fire vehicles will help protect both our emergency first responders and Florida’s citizens.” Carolyn Myers, Ph.D., president of Dey, L.P., said that “Florida’s stocking of Cyanokit in its EMS and fire vehicles reflects a recognition by State officials that first responders need to be prepared to treat cyanide poisoning immediately in an emergency. The ability to treat suspected cases of cyanide poisoning at the scene of a fire or other accident gives potential victims a much-needed measure of safety when survival can be measured in minutes.”

Dey, L.P., a subsidiary of Mylan Inc. (NYSE: MYL), is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development, manufacturing, and marketing of prescription drug products for the treatment of respiratory diseases, respiratory-related allergies, and emergency care medicine.